More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of all humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.
The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.
Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.
Goals in action
Despite the susceptibility of Bhutan’s public health to climate change, the country has worked hard to strengthen its capacity to adapt to climate change. An important innovation of the Bhutanese initiative is linking climate data with epidemiological surveillance. MORE >
Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme, the Equator Initiative supports the work of local and indigenous communities in creating sustainable development solutions worldwide. They have found innovative ways to combat the effects of climate change, and the Equator Prize—awarded to 20 communities this year—recognizes these efforts. This short from Perspective Film Production highlights the work of six of the recipients. MORE >
Poisonous chemicals aren’t common tools of the trade in most workplaces. But in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, where independent gold mining is prevalent, workers are exposed to mercury every day. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia is supporting the elimination of mercury in unregulated mining operations. MORE >
The UNDP has been working with the Government of Indonesia under the UN’s Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme, funded by the Norwegian government, to tackle deforestation by improving livelihoods around the forests. MORE >
Indonesia has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation. Efforts to slow down the loss of tree cover have included a moratorium on the clearing of certain primary forests and peatlands, but limited law enforcement capacity has hampered progress. MORE >
Reza Rahadian and Eva Celia as UNDP SDGs Movers visited Napu village in East Sumba to present the result of Bring Water for Life, UNDP Indonesia’s first crowdfunding campaign. The fund collected from the campaign is used to build a solar water pump in Napu by KOPPESDA, an NGO partner based in East Sumba, with supervision from UNDP Indonesia. MORE >
East Nusa Tenggara is one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia. Less than 60% of the population have access to electricity. A partnership between UNDP Indonesia and Bank NTT managed to support the initiative by civil society organizations to build micro-hydro power plants—a sustainable solution to the local needs. MORE >